[b-hebrew] DSS --> MT silent letters and vowel-points

Ken Penner pennerkm at mcmaster.ca
Tue Mar 15 09:12:45 EST 2005

> To what extent do we have a good study on these changes, and 
> to what extent are they handled uniformly in Masoretic vowel 
> pointing. (on those examples where we might see the spelling 
> differences so represented)
> Has anybody done a study saying along these lines..
>   a) here are x dozen silent alefs in such and such a section 
> of the DSS
>   b) here are the same words in the Masoretic Text, with the 
> following letters and vowel-points 
>   c) this shows such and such a consistency/inconsistency in usage.

A short bibliography:
E.Y. Kutscher, The Language and Linguistic Background of the Isaiah Scroll
(1QIsa^a) (Leiden: Brill, 1974).
E. Qimron, The Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Atlanta: Scholars, 1986).
M. Abegg, "The Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls," The Dead Sea Scrolls after
Fifty Years (eds. P. Flint and J. VanderKam; Leiden: Brill, 1998),
E. Y. Kutscher, "Hebrew Language," Encyclopaedia Judaica 16:1583-1590
(Jerusalem, 1972).
A. Saenz-Badillos, A History of the Hebrew Language (tr. J. Elwolde;
Cambridge UP, 1993). 

Kutscher has some sections (B.5-7) on alef as mater lectionis in 1QIsa^a on
pages 160-164 of his book; Qimron has sections 100.61-100.7 on alef as vowel
letter in non-biblical DSS on pages 22-24. 

Kutscher's Postscript to his chapter on spelling begins, "In this chapter I
have endeavoured to prove that the origin of the 1QIsa^a's peculiar spelling
is to be sought in the orthography current at the time" (186).

In other words, as Peter noted, the spelling was not frozen, and we see
similar spellings in the Mishnah. As Karl has noted previously, some of the
spellings are due to Aramaic influence (conversely, some of the Aramaic
spellings are due to Hebrew influence).

Ken Penner, McMaster/DSS
Dead Sea Scrolls scholars' list owner,

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